Sunday, July 4, 2021


It seems important to state today if only to reassure my few readers, much less myself, that I still believe in God and in the United States of America. This is true even if I go to church today without a blazingly bold tie in red, white, and blue. I'm thinking of the one my Dad gave me some time ago with the Frank Lloyd Wright designs on it. That's a more subtle homage to the American Spirit as well as his Welsh ancestry.

This morning in Welsh scripture study, I was reading Ail Lyfr Nephi, Pennod 2, highly appropriate as I wrote down the words for "Freedom" at the top of the page. You can see my "seer stone" but it's only to hold down the pages in the official Welsh translation still recognized by the Church even if it dates to 1852. I keep track of where I am by marking the verses which came much later in the English editions. The chapters are all off too. Anyway, the meaning comes home in a new way when I read in a new language because I have to concentrate on the words in both languages to get an understanding of what is being said.

This is really a great help in learning Cymraeg. Reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese helped me learn that language to teach in it some forty-plus years ago (45! counting back). And it seems to be working for Welsh. 

My BYU Welsh professors had warned me that the language is archaic which makes sense as the translator, John Sylvanus Davis (1822-1882), would have followed the old language style of the Welsh Bible. I get the idea that archaic Welsh just uses a few more vowels and syllables thrown in here and there. I am going to need this when I get to reading the medieval englynion and other heroic writings in Cymraeg. And it does help solidify some fluency with the modern, spoken language. (I actually need what is in between, the written Welsh of serious History).

So on this patriotic, early morning with the sunrise's red glare, nothing bursting in my air, I was struck by the words: "Rhyddion, Rhyddid" "Freedom!" Not to do whatever the uffern I want, but to act and not be acted upon until judgment day when I know the Grace of the Great Mediator of All Mankind is sufficient for even me.

1 comment:

  1. Stumbled on your amazing blog looking up family history of my Welsh ancestry: Dad's maternal line are Morgans from Merthyr Tydfil area, emigrated to mine coal in Utah after joining the church, and Donaldsons from Northumberland area, haven't been able to trace origins in Scotland.
    Really enjoyed your trip blog. Hope you are still feeling the faith, though I suppose our political and social views would be very much at odds I hope I would never drive you from your faith.
    I spent 10 days on a trip to China with my son and a high school group 3 years ago; the 2 teacher/leaders were fanatical "orange man bad" types and we all got to hear non-stop venom the entire trip. Strangely, for being liberal, educated types they would brook no alternative opinions (because of course there were no other valid opinions).
    Well, to be fair, I am no fan of Trump as a person - but considered the alternatives worse...and from events since Biden took office I would say there is a significant amount of buyers remorse among true independents out there. Both sides of the political aisle are corrupt and untrustworthy. Whatever their original motives, it seems that once inside the beltway all become caught in the corruption. I have found it a particular fascination to see the diametrically opposed perceptions people can have of the same events. For instance, the many destructive riots that took place causing billions of $ of damage, ruined businesses and lives, assaults and some deaths that occurred in the name of "social justice". Your view is apparently that those events were pretty trivial. Strangely, many Democratic leaders openly encouraged such violence yet were not held to account (though no one is held to account in government for anything). On the other hand, you feel very sincerely that the events of Jan 6 nearly resulted in the downfall of our government. Perhaps we are privy to different information but to think that several hundred people could overthrow the government seems absurd. The vast majority of the rioters were seen walking calmly through the halls (and there are still some photos and video out there showing Capitol police waving them through the barricades?!). Some property was damaged. Some of these people were intent on mayhem and destruction and headlines. It is sickening that people lost their lives. Now I absolutely do not condone what happened - it was foolish and over-the-top - but neither do I believe that Trump intended a violent attack on the Capitol.
    Well, no point to belabor recent events as we may disagree on those points as well.
    As they say, in any issue there are typically two perceptions of reality and the truth somewhere in between. You seem like an amazing, intelligent person and I am so impressed that you have any type of handle on the Welsh language, that alone is incredible. I agree with you that many cultural aspects of the church need to go away, above all the judgmental tendencies of the members. I often think how history repeats itself and we can the Book of Mormon playing out before our eyes. Having said that, the church is still the vehicle of the Restoration, so please don't jump out of the boat during the storm! I hope to someday go and tour Wales and Scotland, that is on my bucket list. If we cross paths let's agree not to talk politics but learn and love the old country.
    David Donaldson


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